Residents Rattled By Lightning Deaths Of Horse And Rider

By Dillon Thomas

SEDALIA, Colo. (CBS4) – A woman and her horse were killed Sunday evening by a lightning strike.

The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office told CBS4’s Dillon Thomas the 36-year-old woman was a resident of the Rainbow Creek community west of Sedalia. Her mother was also riding a horse nearby when the strike occurred.

fatal lightning strike 2 Residents Rattled By Lightning Deaths Of Horse And Rider

fatal lightning strike 1 Residents Rattled By Lightning Deaths Of Horse And Rider (credit: CBS)

A 15-year-old family friend was also injured. She was last listed in stable condition.

The trio were riding horses on a popular community trail when deputies said they got stuck between two storms.

“There was a storm that was about 10 minutes ahead of them, and a storm they could see behind them,” said Jason Blanchard, a deputy.

Several residents said they were home when the lightning struck. Most recalled hearing at least three strikes. Some residents said the thunder caused their homes to shake.

fatal lightning strike 3 Residents Rattled By Lightning Deaths Of Horse And Rider

(credit: CBS)

“The thunder was loud. My dogs went running for cover,” said Steve Young, a Rainbow Creek resident. “It was loud. You could hear the sizzle.”

The woman was killed while riding her horse on a trail which connects several properties.

Residents near the location told CBS4 the woman lived nearby, and her mother was also a resident in the neighborhood.

One family friend suggested the trio may have been riding their horses from one family property to the other.

According to NOAA records, this was the first lightning-related death in the United States in 2017.

Douglas County deputies said the incident was their third lightning-related issue in the previous three days. However, they said this was their first fatality.

Dillon Thomas is a reporter at CBS4 and a Colorado native. He believes everyone has a story, and would love to share yours! You can find more of his stories by following him on Twitter, @DillonMThomas.

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